Polyethylene gloves and CA glue

I’ve been building radio control airplanes with CA for decades. I usually lay saran wrap down on the plans, the CA doesn’t like to stick to that much at all. Keeps the balsa from being glued to the plans.

Regular old nail polish remover will dissolve CA. If you use the stuff that your wife or significant-other has for doing their nails, you can soak your glued-together fingers in it without a huge amount of concern.

CA comes in a dizzying array of formulations. Besides the basic viscosities, there are also versions that are “low odor” which is good for people who can’t tolerate the smell (and also, this class of CA will not attack styrofoam). There are formulations that are flexible when cured. I’m particularly fond of late of the formulations that can be “accelerated” with UV light. CA is only “instant cure” when it’s spread very thin and compressed. You can’t always do that with a glue joint. I used to use a spray accelerator (“kicker”) but it has negative properties - attacks paint if you’re gluing already-painted surfaces back together and the cure accelerates so much the glue often boils leaving a hard but crumbly surface and a weak joint. UV curing doesn’t have any of those problems and it is as close to instant as you could reasonably expect it to be.

CA has a shelf life. I generally avoid buying from big-box stores since that inventory sits on shelves for who knows how long. Buy on-line from someone who guarantees the born-on date.

And keep your CA capped when not in use. Humidity in the air will cause the glue to slowly cure.


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